The root of Judaism and Christianity is God’s love. Gary Hargrave demonstrates through connecting Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures how God’s love for us has always been the foundation of His relationship with His people.
In the beginning, God initiated a relationship with the Jewish people because of His love for them. He then gifted them with the Law, the Torah, which instructed them about who God is and how to love God.
“Judaism is not a legalistic religion. It is a religion founded on love.”
Gary begins this episode teaching God’s love as the root of the Old Testament Law and then connects this foundational truth to the roots of Christian faith in the New Testament.
“You can have Judaism without Christianity. But you cannot have Christianity without Judaism.
We grow from that root. We are built from that foundation. That foundation is love.”
He also shares numerous passages in the New Testament, including Jesus’ teachings, that demonstrate the foundation of God’s love in the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same foundation of God’s love in the Law (Torah), and then how we are to respond: to love God and love our neighbor.
“Christ came into the earth sent by the Father because of God’s great love for you.
Christ expressed that love by teaching the fundamentals of Judaism:
God’s love for you. Your love for God. And your need to love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Deuteronomy 4:32-40
- Presentation of the Law.
- Expression of the Law is an expression of love.
- V37 – God chose their fathers and now God is choosing them because of His love.
- Deuteronomy 7:7-16
- V8 – God chose Israel because of His love for them.
- V12–15 – The purpose of the law was to bring blessings upon Israel because of God’s great love for them.
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9
- The Shema prayer.
- Because God so loved Israel, Israel was to love God back.
- V5 – Israel is to love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.
- Matthew 22:34-40
- Jesus quotes the Shema and Leviticus in response to the question, “What is the greatest commandment?”
- V37 – Shema
- V39 – Leviticus 19:18.
- Love is the fulfillment of the Law.
- “The concept of the Law is really an expression of love.”
- “The burnt offerings, sacrifices, and commandments … were all based on love of God and love of one’s neighbors.”
- “Christ was perfect because He loved … love is the fulfillment of all of the Law. He kept the Law through His love.”
- It is important for Christians to have an understanding of biblical Judaism
- The Tanakh (Christian Old Testament) is important for today
- Once we experience God’s love, we can fully express our love for God
- We express our love for God with all we are and everything we have
- As we love God, we must also love one another